In recent years, it has become apparent to the food and hospitality industry that employing a restaurant marketing plan is an integral component to the success of the business. As such, many restaurants worldwide are using social media to gain a strong online presence, which in turn establishes loyalty among existing customers and potentially attracting new customers. Utilizing social media sites can lead to an array of marketing tools used to create a new paradigm in customer relations. This is especially the case where services at dining establishments present a unique opportunity to connect and interact with diners.
Why Statistics Matter
A report from the National Restaurant Associations shows a steady increase of American consumers dining out. October 2014 has realized a sharp peak of sales in the restaurant industry. Over 48 billion dollars in revenue has been made by consumers eating and drinking. In October alone! The low prices in gas rise of employment and boost of customer confidence in the economy has allowed more families to have a discretionary income which has resulted a considerable growth in sales at restaurants.
The importance of formulating marketing ideas for restaurants by owners is now more than before. That includes looking for ways to efficiently market their businesses in order to maximize their revenue. Innovation and commitment is paramount. Marketers and restaurant owners are working closely together to search for foolproof methods to generate newfound opportunities for their business ventures.
Social Media as a Marketing Tool
Incorporating social media in your restaurant marketing strategies is one of the most effect ways for your venue to be noticed. Restaurateurs on a limited budget can’t afford services from a professional to market their dining establishment. And even those who have the funds acknowledge the impact and advantage a solid and well thought-out restaurant marketing plan can have on the success of their business endeavors. Promoting restaurants entail applying certain key approaches. If applied properly, it can help in drawing people’s attention to your venue eventually leading to the conversion of (loyal) customers.
Social media sites for restaurants include Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Yelp, Instagram and Flickr. These sites synchronize online conversations and images together to build an online identity for restaurants that use them. They also act as tools for measuring business growth and the effectiveness of these restaurant marketing strategies as to whether they are a success or need to be upgraded. Finally, social media allows owners to monitor competition. When it comes to creating a marketing campaign for your restaurant, however, audience, photos, messages, and concepts need to be taken into consideration.
Knowing Your Audience
The first step to planning a social marketing campaign for your restaurant is to decide on a niche and the people you want to reach out to. Different social media channels can direct you to certain audiences and therefore it’s important to know the people you are trying to attract whether they are a business lunch crowd, after-work drinks crowd, weekend families or tourists on a holiday. Your message will determine the type of customers you want to reach out to.
A Picture is Worth a 1,000 Words
You would also want your restaurant to be inviting and welcoming which should be emphasized on social media. Showcasing services, meals and your venue’s décor including the commercial grade furniture you are using for your space can make an impression among viewers. They may find pictures of your polished flooring accentuated with quality chairs and booths to be intriguing enough to visit your place. If people have a preference for outdoor dining, you can entice them with photos of your patio furniture.
Delivering the Message
Once you have decided on your target audience, your next step is to think of a message you want to deliver to them. For example, posting daily lunch specials is deal for a lunch crowd. Food truck businesses always use this method to alert customers. If you are looking to increase your business on weekends, post more often on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Never hesitate to think outside the box when you make posts. It doesn’t have to limit to specials. You can share recipes from your chef, videos, and notices of upcoming events at your restaurant.
Thinking of a Concept
If you operate a trendy pub or café and seek to attract a hip crowd in their 20’s or 30’s, the message you create should be as such. Posts made on social media should have a casual yet friendly tone. The message should be pertinent to the relevant audience. Older crowds may not appreciate hip and trendy messages as much though. The tone and vocabulary in your messages should change accordingly.